Recruitment of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for research.

Quint, J.K. ; Moore, E. ; Lewis, A. ; Hashmi, M. ; Sultana, K. ; Wright, M. ; Smeeth, L. ; Chatzidiakou, L. ; Jones, R. ; Beevers, S. ; Kolozali, S. ; Kelly, F. ; Barratt, B. ;
Recruitment of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for research.
NPJ Prim Care Respir Med, 2018; 28(1):21

Databases of electronic health records (EHR) are not only a valuable source of data for health research but have also recently been used as a medium through which potential study participants can be screened, located and approached to take part in research. The aim was to assess whether it is feasible and practical to screen, locate and approach patients to take part in research through the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). This is a cohort study in primary care. The CPRD anonymised EHR database was searched to screen patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to take part in a research study. The potential participants were contacted via their General Practitioner (GP) who confirmed their eligibility. Eighty two practices across Greater London were invited to the study. Twenty-six (31.7%) practices consented to participate resulting in a pre-screened list of 988 patients. Of these, 632 (63.7%) were confirmed as eligible following the GP review. Two hundred twenty seven (36%) response forms were received by the study team; 79 (34.8%) responded ‘yes’ (i.e., they wanted to be contacted by the research assistant for more information and to talk about enrolling in the study), and 148 (65.2%) declined participation. This study has shown that it is possible to use EHR databases such as CPRD to screen, locate and recruit participants for research. This method provides access to a cohort of patients while minimising input needed by GPs and allows researchers to examine healthcare usage and disease burden in more detail and in real-life settings.